"I immediately went outside; I saw the big cloud of dirt, and I started recording immediately," Jennifer Solis said.
Solis, 18, was on the third floor of the Vagabond Hotel in Burlingame. When she heard a big clap, similar to thunder, her instincts took over. She captured the moment when the emergency chutes deployed from the exit doors, and the passengers sliding down to the ground.
"People started getting off almost immediately, and I just remember hearing sirens coming in right away, so they didn't get there right away but I know that they started heading there right away," she said. "It was just really fast."
Solis also got dramatic video as the cabin caught fire. The black cloud of smoke was ominous. Passengers were still running away from the aircraft while fire crews sprayed the fuselage.
Solis' video may provide information to investigators whether one of the 16-year-old girls killed in the crash was hit by a rig.
"I've actually been looking into that," Solis said. "I did record the other ambulances and fire trucks that went around the runway, and there was a lot of debris there. I'm actually trying to look for any sort of bump in the car, but I did record a lot of that, so I'm hoping that there's something in there that will show whether that happened or not."
As she took video, she remembers thinking how surreal the crash scene appeared to her.
"It was just so surreal to see everyone running and actually thought everyone was going to be all right," Solis said. "Unfortunately there were two fatalities, and it was just the first time I ever experienced something like this. I usually see things like this on the news. I just couldn't believe it. It was the only thing I could talk about for the rest of the day."
Solis is planning to contact the National Transportation Safety Board to share her video in case it's useful for the investigation. The NTSB is encouraging others to do the same thing, as the untrained eye may not detect something that could shed some valuable details to pinpoint what happened.
This story was first reported by KTRK-TV's sister station, KGO-TV in San Francisco.
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